The General Directorate of Health takes stock of the status of CBD in pharmacies

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With more than 20,000 pharmacies in France, the pharmacy network represents a real outlet for CBD-based wellness products. Faced with the growing presence of these products on the shelves of pharmacies, even at the counter, the General Directorate of Health (DGS) wanted to take stock of the status of these products in pharmacies.

Reminder of the legislation

The DGS first points out that the law on CBD in France now inherits the decree of December 30, 2021, partially suspended on January 24, 2022. The text protects the cultivation of hemp for CBD purposes and its transformation in the hands of “active farmers” and identified industrialists.

It then recalls the categories of products containing CBD authorized or prohibited which, for pharmacies, must also appear in the list of authorized goods, fixed by the decree of February 15, 2002.

Are therefore authorized according to the DGS:

  • cosmetics containing cannabidiol and other ingredients present in the European database relating to cosmetics (CosIng). We will add for completeness that cannabigerol is therefore also authorized, as are seed and leaf extracts
  • foodstuffs made from the seeds and fibers of hemp
  • vaping products such as e-liquid or vape pen

The text does not specify whether the hemp flowers present in the infusions (as a mixture) can be sold in pharmacies, but herbal teas are among the products authorized for sale in pharmacies.

On the prohibition side, the DGS, based on the MILDECA nomenclature, therefore warns that:

  • smoking flowers are prohibited in pharmacies
  • pet food containing CBD
  • CBD oils or food supplements containing CBD not validated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), under the Novel Food regulations

Should we conclude that once the Novel Food certifications have been validated for certain extracts, CBD oils would be authorized in pharmacies?

The Order of Pharmacists, contacted by us, explains to us that the update of the DGS, not acting as a law, does not prejudge “potential future regulations” on CBD. Understand between the lines that once the Novel Food point is lifted, other hurdles could slip in the way of CBD brands wanting to sell their oils and food supplements in pharmacies.

The fact remains that CBD products are already present in pharmacies, oils and food supplements included, and that once again in this area, the “to date” points are already exceeded by the reality on the ground.

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